Are you a student on a tight budget? It’s easy to use the excuse, ‘I can’t afford it,’ when you’re contemplating online study, but this is a mistake as, once you have learnt to live on your student budget, you will be through your course and earning more money before you know it. Learning how to save money as a student can take a little while but shouldn’t put you off studying.
6 student budget tips for students
#1: Manage your expectations
Your budget is likely to be reduced whilst you study. This might be because you’ve cut down work hours to give yourself time for study or because the cost of your course has affected your finances (see ‘Study now, pay later’ below). Whatever the reason for your student budget restrictions, it will help if you start to adjust your expectations at the start of your course. You might not be able to go out too many times a week, or buy your favourite designer clothes, but it’s important to remember this is temporary and your qualification will eventually improve your standard of living.
#2: Food and drink shopping budget tips
Nobody can live without food and we all need a tasty treat from time to time. You can still enjoy shopping for your meals if you are living on a student budget.
- Buy "budget": If you have a preferred supermarket look at their budget range, you’ll be surprised how much you can save.
- Bulk it out: Cooking in bulk is a great way to save money as a student. Look for items on offer, do batch cooking and stow the results away in the freezer. Not only will you save money, you’ll also have a tasty meal available when you’re too tired to cook.
- Know your limits: Moderate what you spend on food and drink by allowing yourself treats on certain days. For example, only drinking alcohol at the weekend will save you money. It’ll also give you more time and a clearer head for study.
#3: Vouchers and deals websites
Life on a student budget might seem boring, especially if you limit your shopping activities. One way to save money as a student is to check out voucher and deals websites. Voucher websites you might like to try include Groupon, Scoopon and LivingSocial who all offer a variety of deals on activities, travel and shopping. Deal portal websites are also worth a look as they gather together deals from different sites. All the Deals Australia for example change their deal information daily. It’s always worth checking a deal for actual value and authenticity but the buzz you get when you do find a bargain will be worth it.
#4: Previously used purchases
Not only will buying second-hand goods save you money, it will also be better for the environment. Did you know that Australians throw away around 500,000 tonnes of leather and textiles each year? By buying second-hand clothes from stores, garage sales or online websites such as eBay and Gumtree, you can save yourself money and help the planet at the same time. Another way to find second-hand goods is to make it known on social media what you are looking for. Sometimes people are so keen to get rid of things that they will let you have them for free.
#5: Investigate government funding options for your course
The Australian government recognise the need for an upskilling of the workforce and to encourage this have developed a series of funding and incentive opportunities. The easiest way to find out if you’re eligible for help, whilst living on a student budget, is to complete our online government funding eligibility form. It’s worth noting that although funding opportunities are currently relatively abundant, government policy is open to change and these same opportunities may not be around forever.
#6: Study now, pay later with Upskilled’s Zip Money scheme
At Upskilled we recognise the difficulties that students might face with finding course payments whilst studying online. To help with these we have teamed up with Zip Money and can now offer online students the opportunity to pay for their course with flexible, interest free payment plans. These plans can be weekly, fortnightly or monthly and are open to everyone. Once you have selected from our extensive range of online courses and completed a Zip Money application alongside the course enrolment form, Zip Money will pay for your course and set up a repayment plan to suit you. The only requirements for a Zip Money application are:
- That you are at least 18 years of age
- That you are an Australian citizen or resident
- That you are employed in some capacity
Ready to take the plunge into online learning?
There has never been a better time to undertake online study, Australia’s working climate is changing and a skilled workforce is in great demand. Working and studying at the same time can be tough but if you manage your budget carefully you’ll soon find yourself with a qualification in the bag and a new career on your horizon. Search online courses here.